10 Potentially Great Comic Book Movies Which Were Never Made

10 Potentially Great Comic Book Movies Which Were Never Made

10 Potentially Great Comic Book Movies Which Were Never Made

From a big screen adaptation of Batman Beyond to the original plans for movies like Blade 3 and Spider-Man 4, these are the superhero movies which should have happened, but never did...

loading

We've seen many good and bad comic book movies over the years, but with superheroes dominating both the big and small screens, we're clearly in a golden age for the genre (despite some duds).
 
It used to be we would only get the odd 5* comic book adaptation among a sea of Fantastic Fours and Elektras, but things have turned around over the past few years and there are more of these movies on the way between now and 2020 than we can count. Simply put, it's a very good time to be a fan. 
 
Of course, there are many which never got made which could have been truly great and made it easier for comic book fans and regular moviegoers alike endure awful releases such as Daredevil and Ghost Rider. In fact, some of these were scrapped so early on that you might not have heard of them!
 
Here, we take a look at the ten best sounding comic book movies which were scrapped or stuck in development hell, exploring why they never happened and what would have made them great...
 

10. Joss Whedon's Batman

loading

Before making two of the highest grossing comic book movies of all-time with The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron, Joss Whedon looked set to bring his unique vision to the DC Comics Universe. This was before Christopher Nolan created The Dark Knight Trilogy, and Warner Bros. were frantically searching for someone to bring the Caped Crusader back to the big screen after Batman & Robin.
 
One of the many pitches that the studio received was from Whedon, and his movie would have been set in Gotham City during Bruce Wayne's early years as Batman. A newly created Hannibal Lecter type villain would have been the main foe and this unusual take would have seen this man be a mentor/research subject of sorts for the hero. Whedon admits that this very character driven take with an unknown bad guy is why he was probably rejected, but had Warner Bros. given him a chance and maybe allowed him to make a few tweaks, we could have got something really special.

9. Batman Beyond

loading

Another Batman movie, albeit a very different one, Batman Beyond would have been based on the animated and comic book series focusing on Terry McGinnis, Gotham's new Caped Crusader who a much older Bruce Wayne mentored years after retiring as the Caped Crusader. Its popularity led to Warner Bros. giving a live-action adaptation the green light, and the cartoon's creators, Paul Dini and Alan Burnett, were attached to write with Boaz Yakin (hot off the success of Remember The Titans) lined up to direct.

The movie had Terry McGinnis voice actor Will Friedle lined up to play him on the big screen and Michael Keaton was being eyed to return as a much older Dark Knight (though Paul Newman was also considered). Sadly, what appeared to be an R-Rated script and various creative differences would lead to the studio deciding it wasn't worth the hassle and this comic book character has remained in limbo ever since.

8. James Cameron's Spider-Man

loading

James Cameron could do pretty much anything he wanted in the late 80s and early 90s (and still can today), so he set his sights on Spider-Man. This version would have had Electro and Sandman as the main villains, with Arnold Schwarzenegger rumoured to play Doctor Octopus. The "scriptment" written by Cameron - which can easily be found online - wasn't set to be a very faithful comic book movie and featured a lot which would have likely upset fans. It was also heavy on the swearing and even featured a sex scene between Peter Parker and Mary Jane.
 
Despite all that, you have to imagine that it still had the potential to be a really good movie. Regardless, a lack of funding and a battle over the rights to Spider-Man ultimately resulted in this one falling apart and Spidey would next resurface in the hands of Sony Pictures and Sam Raimi in what would prove to be the start of a very interesting big screen journey for the wall-crawer. 

7. Bryan Singer's X-Men 3

loading

X-Men: The Last Stand was the last straw for many comic book fans, and it wasn't until 2011's X-Men: First Class that the franchise would be redeemed. Had Bryan Singer not decided to turn his attention to the Man of Steel in the divisive Superman Returns, he would have helmed this third instalment of the franchise he kicked off in 2000, and it would have been very, very different.
 
Jean Grey's Phoenix was set to be the focus, with her wiping out San Francisco upon her return after discovering a ship carrying mutants who were being used as slaves. Sebastian Shaw, Emma Frost and the Hellfire Club would have been the main villains alongside Magneto and his Brotherhood, with each of them attempting to manipulate Jean for their own nefarious means. With the X-Men caught in the middle and desperate to bring their former ally back, they would ultimately be forced to team with their enemies in order to stop her. It sound epic, but sadly didn't happen. Could Singer use some of these ideas for the X-Men: Apocalypse sequel? 

6. Superman Flyby

loading

Like Batman, Warner Bros. tried and failed to bring Superman to the big screen a number of times over the years. J.J. Abrams wrote Superman: Flyby and Brett Ratner was attached to direct. Concept art of the suit was well received by comic book fans, but some of the story decisions? Not so much. This version would have seen Krypton not actually destroyed, with Lex Luthor a UFO obsessed government agent and Superman killed by some Kryptonians he'd brought to Earth. He would then meet his father in heaven, before being resurrected and eventually heading back to his home planet in a spaceship.
 
It sounds terrible on paper, but this take on Superman could have been something very unique and different despite being a very unfaithful comic book adaptation. Though it was scrapped, it got pretty far along with many actors lined up for key roles, including Robert Downey Jr. as Lex Luthor and Matt Bomer as Superman. Still, knowing what we do about Ratner now, it's just as easy to imagine this having been a colossal mess, despite what sounds like an interesting screenplay from Abrams. 

5. Super Max

loading

Green Arrow: Escape From Super Max (which surprisingly isn't based on a similar comic book arc) would have seen the titular superhero framed for a murder he didn’t commit, subsequently focusing on his quest to escape from the high security prison he’s placed in. However, the hero would have faced off against a number of instantly recognisable comic book villains along the way, including The Riddler, Lex Luthor and the Joker.

Skipping an origin story altogether, Super Max was set to get straight to the point and David S. Goyer and Justin Marks' script was more of a prison escape movie than a typical superhero outing. The buzz surrounding it was extremely positive, but for reasons which aren't quite clear, Warner Bros. decided not to move ahead with the project. If we're lucky, maybe we'll one day get to see it adapted in Arrow, though it seems unlikely due to how expensive something like this would be for television. 

4. Batman: Year One

loading

Darren Aronofsky directing a big screen adaptation of one of the best Batman comic book stories of all-time? With the writer of said story, Frank Miller, penning the screenplay? Why did this never happen?! There are a number of reasons actually. The main ones include various script revisions, nervous executives and the fact that the script was very unusual and a hard R-Rating. With a home-made Batsuit, "The Bat Man" would have been a much more believable vigilante than the gadget wielding versions which came before this one.
 
Alfred the Butler was now a middle-aged black man known as Little Al, the Batmobile was a converted Ford and there was set to be a lot of voice over and Selina Kyle too. It could have been great, though we also can't help but feel like a more straight forward adaptation of the comic book would have stood a greater chance of being made. After departing The Wolverine a number of years ago, Aronofsky still hasn't helmed a comic book movie...

3. Spider-Man 4

loading

Spider-Man was fantastic, and Spider-Man 2 was (and still is) one of the greatest comic book movies of all-time. Spider-Man 3? Not so much. It was hard to believe that the crowded and sloppy threequel came from Sam Raimi, but despite the negative response from comic book fans and critics alike, it was a financial success and a Spider-Man 4 was given the green light. In fact, the plan was for the fifth and sixth instalments to be a two-parter, possibly featuring the Sinister Six. Going back to Spider-Man 4, various reports stated we might finally see The Lizard, though John Malkovich was later said to be in negotiations to play the Vulture, while Anne Hathaway would play Felicia Hardy. 

Comic book fans weren't happy to learn that she would be a newly created character known as the Vulturess, but Raimi has since stated she would have become Black Cat. Regardless, pressure from the studio, his unhappiness with Spider-Man 3 and the fact that he "hated" the script (in its fourth iteration) led to Raimi leaving and a reboot being planned. After seeing that recently released concept art featuring the likes of Mysterio, i's hard not to wish this had happened. 

2. Blade III

loading

Though X-Men is credited as the first modern day superhero movie, Blade deserves that distinction. The first two movies were fantastic, but the third and final instalment - Blade: Trinity - is remembered as one of the worst comic book adaptations of all-time and actually ended up killing the franchise (the rights are once again held by Marvel Studios).
 
Regardless, writer and director David S. Goyer's original pitch sounds much better, and the movie would have actually been set decades in the future. With vampires now in charge and humans their slaves, the still youthful Blade would have been humanity's last hope with backup from Rachel Van Helsing. It's hard to say how it would have turned out, but it sounds a lot better than what we ended up getting anyway. Sadly, New Line decided it was too dark/expensive and we got what we got.

1. Joss Whedon's Wonder Woman

loading

That's right, it's yet another Joss Whedon movie that Warner Bros. must be kicking themselves for passing on. This one actually got far enough along in 2007 that a teaser poster was created by comic book artist Adam Hughes, but after producer Joel Silver announced it and Whedon wrote a number of drafts, it came to nothing.
 
Not even Whedon fully understands why based on past interviews, though it appears as if typical creative and budgetary reasons were ultimately the cause as well as a lack of enthusiasm from Warner Bros. Whedon has revealed that he would have liked How I Met Your Mother and Captain America: The Winter Soldier star Cobie Smulders to play the Amazonian Princess, and the script would have focused on Wonder Woman coming to terms with mortality and a focus on her origin and relationship with Steve Trevor.

Which, if any, of these comic book movies do you wish had been made? As always, let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. 

DISCLAIMER: ComicBookMovie.com is protected under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) and... [MORE]
Latest Headlines
Loading...
From The Web